Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital Named Accredited Chest Pain Center
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Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital Named Accredited Chest Pain Center 

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Recognition highlights collaborative approach to heart care.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (March 2011) - Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital recently received full accreditation from the Society of Chest Pain Centers (SCPC) as an Accredited Chest Pain Center with PCI.

The sudden onset of chest pain is alarming to everyone. Patients are appropriately worried and healthcare providers are keenly aware that – when it comes to heart health - time is one of the most critical factors.

Because of the importance of prompt diagnosis and treatment for heart care, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital established its Chest Pain Center to streamline the time required for identifying and treating cardiac disease. The Chest Pain Center promotes a protocol-driven, systematic approach to patient management and treatment for patients presenting with chest pain during the critical early stages.

Led by Medical Director James R. Miller, MD, PhD, and supported by Chris Roberts, RN, BSN as the technical director, the Chest Pain Center philosophy of responsive patient care spans the continuum of care for chest pain patients. This begins in the field with Emergency Medical Services and continues at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital aimed at the quick diagnosis and treatment of chest pain. The SCPC certification has many quality and outcome requirements as well as continuous quality improvement goals.

Chest Pain Center accreditation is endorsed by the Joint Commission as being associated with improved heart failure quality performance measures.

SCPC’s Chest Pain Center accreditation is for a three-year period and demonstrates that the hospital has met or exceeded standards related to heart care in the following areas:

Integrating the emergency department with local Emergency Medical Systems
Emergency assessment, timely diagnosis, and treatment of patients with heart attack symptoms
Ongoing improvement of all aspects of care for these cardiac patients
Appropriate training and experience of physicians, nurses, technicians and other healthcare providers who care for these patients
Administrative commitment to treating these patients and allocating resources to ensure continued improvement in patient care
Functional design of the facility to facilitate prompt treatment
Reaching out to the community on the signs and symptoms of a heart attack

Heart attacks remain the leading cause of death in the United States with 600,000 dying each year of heart disease. More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. SCPC is a nonprofit international organization dedicated to the belief that heart disease can be eliminated as the number one cause of death worldwide. 

Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital offers complete cardiac services, from the treatment of chest pain to minimally invasive surgical procedures, to open heart surgery. In addition to recognition from SCPC, Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital is the only hospital in the region to have received disease specific certifications from the Joint Commission in Acute Myocardial Infarction and Heart Failure care. In addition, the hospital is certified by the Joint Commission as a Stroke Center.

What to do if you suspect a heart attack. Know the signs and symptoms for men and women.

If you suspect you or someone you know is having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Emergency Medical Responders are best equipped to begin treatment at the scene, giving you the best chances of survival.

Warning signed of heart attack in men:

  • chest discomfort or chest pain
  • breathing problems
  • a squeezing or crushing feeling on the chest
  • heart burn
  • pain of the jaw, toothache, headaches
  • nausea, vomiting, cold sweats and indigestion
  • arm pain on the left side or left shoulder pain may be felt radiating all the way from the chest and jaw

Warning signs of a heart attach in women:

  • pressure, squeezing pain in chest, neck, shoulder or jaw
  • nausea, dizziness, back pain
  • unusual fatigue, unusual shortness of breath
  • lower chest discomfort, or chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath
  • upper abdominal pain or pressure

While symptoms for both men and women can be similar, women can sometimes feel symptoms for weeks or even a month in advance of a heart attack. The best course of action is to listen to the body and make sure that any changes in health are discussed with a doctor.

Related Links:
Sentara Virginia Beach General

Sentara Heart Center at Sentara Virginia Beach General

Society of Chest Pain Centers

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